Wind River Systems

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Coordinates: 37°46′52″N 122°15′43″W / 37.78116°N 122.26195°W / 37.78116; -122.26195

Wind River Systems Inc.
HeadquartersAlameda, California, U.S.
Key people
Jim Douglas, President
RevenueUS$359.7 million (FY ended Jan 31 2009)[1]
Number of employees
1,800+[2] (11/2012)
ParentTPG Capital

Wind River Systems, also known as Wind River, is an Alameda, California-based wholly owned subsidiary of TPG Capital.[3] The company develops embedded system software consisting of run-time software, industry-specific software solutions, simulation technology, development tools and middleware,[4] which is software and operating systems for information appliances and devices for intelligent connected systems.


Wind River Systems was formed by a partnership of Jerry Fiddler[5] and Dave Wilner.[6][7] In 1981, Fiddler had come out of Berkeley Labs[8] to write software for control systems, but wanted to pursue a career in computer generated music,[9] which he funded through a consultancy business focused on real-time. His early clients included the National Football League and film director Francis Ford Coppola — for whom he designed a unique film editing system.[10] Wilner, a former colleague at Berkeley, joined Fiddler and they formed a partnership called Wind River Systems (named after Wind River, Wyoming, where Fiddler had vacationed that year).

Some of the key milestones are:[11][12]

  • 1983: Wind River is incorporated in 1983 with each partner contributing $3,000 and a desk to the business.
  • 1987: Wind River introduces VxWorks, a leading real-time operating system for embedded devices.
  • 1995: VxWorks launches into space on the NASA Clementine moon probe. Also, the Tornado integrated development environment is launched and wins EDN's Embedded Development Software Innovation of the Year award as the first graphically oriented development environment for embedded.
  • 1997: VxWorks, the real-time operating system for NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission, lands on Mars.[13]
  • 1999: Acquisition of one of their major competitors, Integrated Systems Inc., makers of pSOS. Wind River has since discontinued the pSOS product line and has recommended existing pSOS customers move to VxWorks
  • 2004: Wind River officially enters the embedded Linux market,[14] with a Carrier Grade Linux platform targeting the networking & communications infrastructure industry. Also, NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, powered by VxWorks,[15] land on Mars. Wind River helped in manufacturing the IntelliStar for The Weather Channel. The IntelliStar is used at Cable Headends to insert Local Weather into The Weather Channel's national programming.
  • 2007: Wind River joins Google's Open Handset Alliance as an original Linux commercialization partner.[16]
  • 2008: Wind River establishes the embedded Linux market share lead with greater than 30 percent of total market revenue, four years after entering the market.[17]
  • 2009: Intel acquires Wind River for approximately $884 million and it becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel. Wind River launches a commercial Android software platform.[18] Wind River becomes a founding member of the GENIVI Alliance.[19]
  • 2010: Wind River adds Simics,[20] a full system simulator, to its product portfolio. VxWorks becomes the first RTOS to be certified under Wurldtech's Achilles certification program,[21] a standard for industrial cyber security. Wind River partners with Intel and the Linux Foundation to create the Yocto Project,[22] an open source collaboration project providing templates, tools and methods to help developers create embedded Linux-based systems.
  • 2011: VDC Research names Wind River the embedded market leader; including title of traditional RTOS market leader for its complete portfolio of products and services for the 2nd consecutive year, led by its VxWorks RTOS; and as the embedded Linux market leader for the 3rd consecutive year for its Wind River Linux platform and related solutions.[23]
  • 2012: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) successfully lands Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, powered by Wind River technology.[15] Wind River debuts software platform targeted at gateways and hubs for the Internet of Things.[24]
  • 2013: Wind River becomes part of Intel's Internet of Things Group (IOTG), but remains a wholly owned subsidiary.[25] Barry Mainz assumes the position of President.
  • 2014: Wind River introduces its commercial, carrier grade software platform for network functions virtualization (NFV) applications, as well as its next-generation VxWorks platform reinvented for the Internet of Things.[26][27]
  • 2014: Wind River fined $750,000 by Bureau of Industry and Security for exporting encryption technology to countries including Israel and South Korea.[28]
  • In 2015 the company was accused of repeated trademark and licensing violations of the Grsecurity project, which as response has restricted its code to commercial partners only.[29]
  • In 2016, Intel announced that it intended to fully integrate Wind River into one of its divisions (thus ending Wind River's status as a wholly owned subsidiary,) although the scheduled completion date of this action has not been made public. Barry Mainz left the company to become President and CEO of MobileIron and Jim Douglas assumes the position of President.
  • 2018: Intel divested Wind River Systems to alternative asset fund manager TPG under undisclosed terms.[30]


Among the company's products are the VxWorks real-time operating system, the Wind River Linux operating system, and the Eclipse-based Wind River Workbench IDE. VxWorks began as an add-on to the VRTX operating system in the early 1980s. Wind River Workbench superseded the previous Tornado environment.[31]


VxWorks is the original flagship product of Wind River. It is a real-time operating system intended for embedded devices. It runs on many architectures, and supports features such as SMP, IPv6, TIPC and memory protection.

Wind River Linux[edit]

Wind River's Linux product is source code and a build system that generate runtime images suitable for embedded devices. It supports a variety of architectures, including ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, IA32 and SPARC.

In 2004, Wind River announced a partnership with Red Hat to create a new Linux-based distribution for embedded devices.[32] Wind River has since ended its partnership with Red Hat and now ships its own Linux distribution optimized for embedded Linux development.

Wind River released the first version of its embedded Linux distribution, Platform for Network Equipment - Linux Edition (PNE-LE) 1.0 in 2005.[33] It was registered against the Carrier Grade Linux 2.0 specification and supported IA32 and PPC architectures. They added other platforms in subsequent releases, General Purpose Platform - Linux Edition (GPP-LE) and Platform for Consumer Devices - Linux Edition PCD-LE) starting in version 1.4. In 2013 Wind River announced Wind River Linux 6.0.[34]

Wind River Systems acquired FSMLabs embedded technology in February 2007[35] and made a version available as Wind River Real-Time Core for Wind River Linux. As of August 2011, Wind River has discontinued the Wind River Real-Time Core product line, effectively ending commercial support for the RTLinux product.[citation needed]

On August 7, 2007, Palm Inc. announced that it had chosen Wind River Systems as the software solution for its (later aborted) Palm Foleo.

In 2008, Wind River announced cooperation with BMW, Intel and Magneti Marelli for development of a Linux-based open-source platform to control in-car electronics,[36] which was extended in the GENIVI Alliance in 2009.[37]

In 2012, Wind River introduced a new version of Wind River Linux that was developed from the Yocto Project™ open source development infrastructure and has achieved Yocto Project Compatible registration.[34]

Wind River (Diab) Compiler[edit]

Wind River acquired Dataindustrier AB's Diab Compiler as part of its acquisition of Integrated Systems Inc.[38] Originally designed by Wind River's former CTO, Tomas Evensen, it is now available as part of Wind River's VxWorks platforms. It can also be licensed separately for non-VxWorks users. The compiler supports PowerPC, ARM, MIPS, SH, ColdFire, TriCore, Intel, and more architectures.

Tilcon Graphics Suite[edit]

Tilcon Software Limited was acquired by Wind River in 2009. The Tilcon software consists of a graphical user interface builder - a tool that runs on a Windows or Linux host - and a GUI engine that runs on an embedded processor that renders graphics through a number of different standard graphics libraries. The Tilcon software supports VxWorks, Linux and Windows operating systems.


The Simics full-system simulator was added to Wind River's product portfolio after the acquisition of Virtutech by Intel in 2010.

Wind River Titanium Server[edit]

Introduced in 2014, the Wind River Titanium Server provides a Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) software platform used by network equipment suppliers to build NFV equipment.[39] The product is based on Wind River Open Virtualization and includes Wind River Linux, an optimized real-time Kernel-Based Virtual Machine (KVM++), Intel Data Plane Development Kit (Intel DPDK), accelerated vSwitch technologies and carrier grade enhancements to OpenStack. The server provides the following basic capabilities:[40][41][42]

  • Fault Tolerant: capable of being configured to achieve a range of service availability requirements, including "six nines" availability which is achieved by carrier-grade fault management features and reliable software.
  • Performance: carrier-grade Accelerated vSwitch (AVS), responsible for providing the VM-to-VM (virtual machine) and VM to the outside network, achieves high and efficient network performance and scalability to maximize the number of subscribers per server. The Accelerated vSwitch (AVS) achieves a 20 fold improvement in performance.[43]
  • Manageability: scheduling and orchestration of workloads, failures, and security to management service-level agreements (SLAs). The platform manages applications through existing (OSS/BSS/NMS)systems (operation support system / business support system / network monitoring system) and uses standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs)

Edge Management System[edit]

The Edge Management System is a pre-integrated software stack that runs from the embedded device up through the cloud to reduce product development times and total cost of ownership. It is a white-label offering of PTC solution (formerly Axeda) i.e. it uses PTC to provide this service. The system is validated to work out-of-the-box with all Intel Internet of Things (IoT) platform components, as well as other IoT vendors' components. The Edge Management System agent enables cloud connectivity to facilitate capabilities such as data capture, rules-based data analysis and response, configuration, and file transfer. It allows customers to quickly build industry-specific IoT solutions and integrate disparate enterprise IT systems, utilizing application programming interface (API) management.[44]


Wind River acquired the software assets of Berkeley Software Design Inc. (BSDI) in 2001. These comprised the BSD/OS operating system, plus involvement in the FreeBSD open-source project.[45] The FreeBSD unit was divested as a separate entity in 2002 as FreeBSD Mall, Inc.[46]

Faced with competition from the open source FreeBSD and Linux-based operating systems, Wind River discontinued BSD/OS in December 2003. However, by this time some technology from BSD/OS had been contributed to the open-source BSD community.[47]


Wind River's technologies are used in a wide range of markets including Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Energy, Industrial, Medical, Consumer Electronics and Networking & Communications.[48] The products are used in industrial and transportation systems such as factory automation, robotics, rail transport, smart grids; military systems such as unmanned vehicles and military communications, telecommunication infrastructure equipment such as routers; automotive systems such as connected in-vehicle infotainment, digital cluster displays, telematics, braking systems; consumer devices such as multifunction printers; digital cameras, projectors, set-top boxes, traffic signals aircraft and aerospace systems such as Mars rovers MER-A and MER-B.[49]


Wind River's recent achievements have been recognized in 2014 by winning numerous awards. The company won the Carrier Network Virtualization Award for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Innovation for its Wind River Titanium Server.[50] The award recognizes excellence and outstanding technologies developed for the NFV and Software-defined networking (SDN) industry. The introduction of the Wind River Titanium Server was deemed to 'revolutionize' the market by making carrier network virtualization a reality.[51]

For the sixth consecutive year, VDC Research recognized Wind River as the embedded Linux market leader for its Wind River Linux platform. The VDC study which covered the global market for commercially available real time operating systems (RTOS) and non-real-time operating systems, determined that Wind River led the market for worldwide shipments of both RTOS and embedded Linux, and related services.[52][53] According to VDC, Wind River retains its longstanding position as the traditional RTOS market leader for its portfolio of embedded products and services, led by its VxWorks RTOS.

Wind River was recognized three times in 2014 for excellence in customer and employee satisfaction: it was named a 2014 Confirmit ACE award winner for excellence in customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and partner satisfaction;[54] it was recognized as a 'Top Workplace' by Bay Area News Group[55][56] in which employee satisfaction surveys ranked Wind River among the top 100 Bay Area companies; and for the eighth consecutive year, its customer support organization achieved certification under the Service Capability & Performance (SCP) Standards.[57] The SCP Standards quantify the effectiveness of customer support and services based upon a stringent set of performance criteria and represent the best practices in the industry.

In 2015 TMCnet News reported that Wind River won a 2014 M2M Evolution Internet of Things (IoT) Excellence Award for its excellence and leadership in the evolution of the IoT for the Wind River Edge Management System.[58] This award honors innovative products that support the collection and analysis of information to improve business and personal decision-making.



Wind River sponsors the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC) WonderCup Challenge, a San Francisco Bay Area science knowledge competition for high school students.[citation needed]


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  19. ^ About
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